Enhancing Teacher Wellbeing - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

The Whole Child Review Issue No. 7, October 2021

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Enhancing Teacher Wellbeing

Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching National Award Winner

This award is given to just 10 KIPP teachers from across the country each school year. We are ecstatic to announce that Carla Crespo, Assistant Principal & Diverse Learners and English Learners Teacher at KIPP One Academy, was one of ten recipients of this prestigious award! Read the full speech given by fellow educators to honor Carla: Sylvia Ibarra-Delgado, Emily Janik, Briana Jocelyn, Maggie Lee, Whitney Paul, and Gabby Tate.

Ms. Crespo is known for helping her students make remarkable academic strides. Last year, her 5th grade students advanced nearly 30 percentage points in math and reading in just the first four months of the school year. In addition, on the rigorous “Access Test” to test out of the English Language Learner program, Ms. Crespo’s students’ passing rate is nearly six times the state average. Outside of the classroom, she leads after-school Government and Spanish clubs, provides tutoring four days per week, and regularly helps students and families connect with community resources on social media.

“I truly cannot overstate just how laser-focused Carla is on the academic growth and success of her students,” says Whitney Paul, KIPP One Academy’s School Leader. “Carla is the kind of teacher who truly does whatever it takes to support all students and families in a variety of ways, and does so with a positive and loving attitude.”

Wellness Workshops

In tandem with our 13 weeks of parent content and curriculum, we offered similar wellness workshops for our teachers. We offered nine staff workshops through the 2020-2021 school year. We concluded this season of workshops with panel discussions centering Black Motherhood, Womanhood, and Critical Thinking (May) and a panel discussing Pride, Identity, and Mental Health (June).

Both workshops featured the voices of KIPP teachers, senior leadership, and alumni or parents. The Black Motherhood, Womanhood, and Critical Thinking workshop elevated the resilience of Black women and their evolution navigating identity, self-actualization, and mental health. Our Pride Identity and Mental Health centered the needs of members of the LGBTQ+ community, individuality, and building a safe community for LGBTQ+ students.

We thank our teachers, staff, parents, and alumni for their vulnerability and willingness to share their personal experiences with our community. The content of the conversations, diversity of voices, and perspectives provided joy, safety, and bonds when connection is deeply needed.

Surge Fellow, Sameka Gates

Sameka Gates of KIPP Academy Chicago has been named a 2022 Surge Fellow! The Surge Fellowship is the signature program of the Surge Institute and serves as a best-in-class, cohort-based experience that unites, accelerates, and empowers 20-25 emerging leaders of color in education. Surge Fellows go on a journey, not just learning the hard skills needed to function at the executive level and navigate complex systems but also joining a vast network of mission-driven leaders of color who understand and support each other’s needs. Congratulations, Sameka, on a much-deserved fellowship! Check out Sameka’s profile here!

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